Holly Black wisely points out that all writing advice can be bad. And Sherwood Smith writes some excellently out-and-out bad writing advice: “Write it in a week and send it instantly because professionals don’t revise. They get it right the first time.”
That’s like the worst advice ever. Can anyone top that?
The worst I can come up with are all variations on Sherwood’s: “Your first drafts are genius. Don’t change a thing!” Though how about, “It’s always best to invent your own system of spelling. It makes you stand out as a writer.”
I can think of lots of post-publication advice that would lead to career suicide:
- Make sure to email your publicist every day to make helpful suggestions for selling your book.
- Your editor and copyeditor are always wrong. Feel free to entirely ignore their edits.
- Call your agent often demanding to know why they haven’t gotten you on Oprah yet.
- If you are on a panel at a convention make sure you stay on message and steer all conversation back to you and your book. Make sure you bring a great big stack of them to show everyone.
- If your local bookseller doesn’t have your book. Demand to know why. Do they not know who you are?!
I will stop now. This is making my brain hurt. But feel free to suggest more.